Having the Quality of Perseverance is Most Priceless
|【TBSN News】 Understanding theory is simple. Putting theory into practice is difficult. When one understands the theoretical principle one must then genuinely practice with persistence. Therefore, it is perseverance that is the most invaluable.
【Reported by Master Liandian in Nantou, Translated by Lynn Ang, Edited by DJ Chang and Henry Wolf】On March 11, 2017, H.H. Living Buddha Lian-sheng presided over an Avalokitesvara Homa Ceremony and bestowed empowerment for the Avalokitesvara Personal Deity Practice, Thousand-armed, Thousand-eyed Guanyin Practice, and Guanyin Body Shrine Calamity Eradication Practice. This was followed by a discourse on ''Lamdre.''
Prior to the ceremony, acting as representatives, Dharma Instructor Lianda, Association Chief Liao Liying, the Directors of Dayi Cultivation Association, Master Lianxing from Benshi Chapter in Kaohsiung, and Master Lianji, respectfully invited Living Buddha Lian-sheng to debut the dharma transmission of Humsvaranadinitara on March 26, 2017.
(Please visit the official website of Dayi Cultivation Association for more information in relation to the event: http://www.tbsdayi.org/index.html)
Living Buddha Lian-sheng then discoursed today's principal deity, Avalokitesvara.
To every Buddhist, and even in common folk beliefs or Taoism, Avalokitesvara is the most highly esteemed and the foremost bodhisattva. Her bodhicitta is the greatest as is her vow. Avalokitesvara therefore saves the most sentient beings. Her affinity with sentient beings is the deepest and the most profound. Avalokitesvara is venerated as the Great Compassionate Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World. Her praise verse is:
Responding to infinite prayers
From the hearts of countless beings
She rescues them from the sea of suffering
Tirelessly ferrying all to the other shore.
Avalokitesvara has millions upon millions of emanations including Four-Armed Avalokitesvara, Thousand-Armed, Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara, Cundi Guanyin and the White-robed Guanyin. In fact, Living Buddha Lian-sheng's own mother was the incarnation of the Taiping Bird, an attendant of Guanyin.
In Taiwanese folk custom, the image of Avalokitesvara is commonly used in ''Guanyin Artistry.'' Avalokitesvara, with her attendants Sudhana and Longnu, and the Taiping Bird carrying Avalokitesvara's rosary in its bill while hovering in the air, is placed above. The Daoist deities, The Holy Mother of Heaven, Lord Guan Sheng, etc. are placed below. Or, Avalokitesvara may just stand alone.
As an ancient buddha Avalokitesvara was known as the greatly accomplished and enlightened ''Correct Dharma Enlightened Tathagata,'' At present, she is known as Avalokitesvara and in the future, she will be known as the Universal Light Merit Mountain King Buddha. Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta are the two attendants of Amitabha of the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Collectively they are known as the Trinity of the Western Paradise. Humsvaranadinitara, due to be transmitted on March 26, is also an incarnation of Avalokitesvara.
In Tibet, when Avalokitesvara realized that sentient beings are exceedingly difficult to save, a tear fell from her left eye. This tear transformed into Green Tara. Another tear fell from her right eye which transformed into White Tara. Ever since, Green and White Tara have been considered emanations of Avalokiteshvara.
Grandmaster continued his discourse by mentioning that during the daytime H.H. the 16th Karmapa cultivated Tara practice. At night he cultivated protector dharma. H.H. the 16th Karmapa cultivated Tara because, being the most compassionate, Tara is the deity easiest to attain spiritual union with. Venerable Atisha propagated the bodhicitta dharma as well as the Green Tara practice and also transmitted Vajrayana to Tibet. H.H. the Dalai Lama and Dharma King 16th Karmapa are both emanations of Four-Armed Avalokitesvara. Living Buddha Jigong recites the Six Syllable Great Brilliance Mantra in his mission to save sentient beings
Living Buddha Lian-sheng himself witnessed the appearance of Avalokitesvara. This was an unforgettable experience for Grandmaster.
Avalokitesvara was wearing celestial garments and her body was adorned with precious jewels. Avalokitesvara then turned around and smiled. Grandmaster considers this moment the most unforgettable moment of his life. It turned out that this sudden manifestation of Avalokitesvara was to help Grandmaster overcome an extraordinarily difficult obstacle. Living Buddha Lian-sheng mentioned that if a practitioner sees Avalokitesvara appear all hardships will be resolved and all obstacles will be eliminated!
Therefore, if one prays to Avalokitesvara on a daily basis one will receive an extraordinary spiritual response, especially if one recites the Thousand-Armed Thousand-Eyed Great Compassion Hindrance-freeing Dharani, also called the Great Compassion Dharani.
According to the chapter ''A Line of Water in a River'' in Living Buddha Lian-sheng's Book 26, Mystical Power, Madam Zhouyang Huiqing, the wife of Prof. Zhou Bangdao who is a professor at Chinese Culture University and Director of the China Academy Graduate School of Buddhism, is world famous for the Compassion Dharani water she provides. This water has tremendous spiritual power and has saved many lives.
Living Buddha Lian-sheng continued with a discourse on the Lamdre. In the last dharma discourse the ''Four Levels of Masters'' were explained. These ''four levels'' correspond with the four classes of tantra and the four tantric empowerments. These so-called ''four tantric empowerments'' refer to four different levels of purification power.
In Vajrayana each level of empowerment means a different stage and power. Moreover, when seeking empowerment from the guru, disciples are required to make offerings according to the level of empowerment bestowed. Living Buddha Lian-sheng, however, has emphasized that the amount of offering is irrelevant. As long as one is sincere and conscientious that in itself is priceless!
- External - vase empowerment, empowerment banner, Four Preliminary Practices, and Principal Deity Practice.
- Internal - empowerment by red or white flowers. The practice of qi, channels and drops.
- Esoteric - Highest Yoga Tantra - cultivation of light.
- Absolute - the Great Perfection- merging with the ocean of cosmic light. Attainment of buddhahood in the present body.
Today, Living Buddha Lian-sheng demonstrated many recitation practices including Amitabha Buddha, verses of the Universal Gate Sutra etc. One who single-mindedly recites the epithet of Amitabha Buddha ten times daily will be reborn in the Buddha's pure land. Living Buddha Lian-sheng also remarked to disciples that finding a perfect person in the human world would be impossible.
When one attains spiritual union with Avalokitesvara one also attains spiritual union with Amitabha. This, in turn, is equivalent to attaining spiritual union with all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Living Buddha Lian-sheng remarked that some letters written in by Wu Zizai were extraordinarily impressive and truly close to the point. These letters show that Wu Zizai is not far from attaining spiritual awakening.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, understanding the theory is simple. Putting theory into practice is difficult. When one understands the theoretical principle one must then genuinely practice with persistence. The finest quality of all is perseverance.
Following Living Buddha Lian-sheng's dharma discourse disciples provided a special early birthday celebration for Shimu Lianxiang. Everyone thanked Shimu for her dedication, hard work and contribution throughout her lifetime. The ceremony was thus auspiciously and perfectly concluded in a warm atmosphere filled with dharma joy.
!!Please be aware that before engaging in any True Buddha Vajrayana practices, one must first take refuge and receive the respective empowerment.!!
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